Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

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All Blacks skills - Pt 2 In the backyard

Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ireland on track for Triple Crown with win over Wales

Ireland still have an outside chance of retaining their Six Nations title after they comfortably beat Wales 27-12 at Croke Park on Saturday. They are also now one match away from claiming their fifth Triple Crown in seven seasons.

Keith Earls scored twice while Man of the Match Tomas O’Leary also crossed, with fly half Jonathan Sexton kicking three penalties and a late drop goal. Stephen Jones kicked four penalties for Wales, but their poor discipline let them down once again.

Ireland seized the advantage when Welsh fullback Lee Byrne was sent to the sin bin for deliberately killing the ball. In a repeat of the match against England, Wales were made to pay as Ireland scored two tries while the visitors were down to 14 men.

"The yellow card was very costly," said Wales Warren Gatland.

"It appears we haven't learnt our lesson from what happened against England (when lock Alun-Wyn Jones was sin-binned). From a coaching point of view that is very disappointing."

Wales have now had three defeats from four matches, and are languishing alongside Scotland and Italy for wooden spoon honours. Ireland however, will grab the Triple Crown if they beat Scotland at Croke Park next weekend.

Man of the moment Brian O’Driscoll, who played his 100th Test match, said that the day was different to usual for him.

"It was probably more emotional than I thought it would be. It's a massive honour to play for my country a hundred times. The reception I received was an extra with winning today. I'm delighted for the boys, the staff and the great squad who didn't get to put the jersey on," he said.

Time: 05:39



  • first

    By Anonymous lala, at March 14, 2010 12:46 am  

  • lmao, grats above?
    ahhh im gutted! we played so bad! ( im welsh btw)
    It was like we didnt want to play rugby! creased at jonothan davies saying" we're 10 points behind at half time. things are looking good!" This comeback stuff is nonsense! need to clean the act up!grats to ireland and good luck for the triple crown!

    By Anonymous Matt, at March 14, 2010 1:04 am  

  • 2nd

    Go ireland

    Bod amazing , hope he stays strong till the world cup !

    By Anonymous Jacob, at March 14, 2010 1:05 am  

  • shit ! not 2nd anymore haha

    By Anonymous jacob, at March 14, 2010 1:06 am  

  • I have to say, Wales were just poor. Pretty much no one on the Welsh team seemed to be good, especially Lee Byrne. I wonder is Gatty finally being shown up for the poor coach I think he is, or are the Welsh players just not good enough?

    On a positive note though Ireland were quite good. Especially Earlsy.

    By Anonymous Contented Irishman, at March 14, 2010 1:09 am  

  • What has been going on with Byrne? Well, I guess it's only been these last two test matches, really, but he seems quite different than before. The only redeeming quality is that he's still got quite a boot and can catch a high ball...but seriously, what fullback doesn't think that he'll be penalised for throwing the ball away after leap-frogging into touch with it?

    That said, Sexton had a bit of an off-night, too.

    But, it just goes to show that these guys are human and not perfect...

    In any case, I wish I were in Dublin after that game...I would've been drunk as a skunk celebrating.

    By Anonymous Nate, at March 14, 2010 5:54 am  

  • Also, I thought Joubert got all of the "tough" calls right. The ones that the crowd may have booed over, for example, were spot-on when shown in the replay.

    As far as the breakdown goes, I thought he did a pretty good job of spotting what was going on, save maybe a few instances.

    Didn't get everything right, I'm sure, but you couldn't really ask for too much better.

    Just my two cents...

    By Anonymous Nate, at March 14, 2010 5:59 am  

  • I heard that old queen Gareth Thomas is heading over to crappy rugby league, lol guess he wanted some pump action on the ground.

    Oh yeah, this game... well Wales are in trouble. Dont expect them to do much come WC'11.

    By Anonymous Tau, at March 14, 2010 8:59 am  

  • as an irish fan it was good to see the yellow, stupid penalty and consistency pays....

    i saw it and thought to myself 'Ah, here we go, ref taking tough stance, no nonsense etc...'

    then that was it, and after it was countless infringments from the irish side....and no card....

    I think welsh fans can feel a little resentful that no card was shown to the irish. But all in all, there was only one team in it....

    By Anonymous Guinness :), at March 14, 2010 10:09 am  

  • any chance you can get keith earls flick with the ball into his hands?? absolutle genius. and bods tackle on jamie roberts was amazing. it makes you wonder where luke fitz will fit into the team when hes back.. i say put him at 12

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 14, 2010 10:50 am  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 14, 2010 12:42 pm  

  • annonymous at the bottom. NAHHHH?! you really think so? * clap clap clap!* you get a doggy treat for spotting that one you dumb shithead:) lol ye guiness there was some good penalty calls by him. am gutted you guys werent shown you yellow for the ammount of penalties you were given away. but yep better team won definitly!

    By Anonymous Matt, at March 14, 2010 12:49 pm  

  • as a Welsh fan that was bloody painful to watch.. With or without the yellow card we would of lost. We just completely failed to take our chances and made too many mistakes.

    Ireland looked very good indeed

    By Anonymous David, at March 14, 2010 1:28 pm  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 14, 2010 2:36 pm  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 14, 2010 2:36 pm  

  • Ireland by far the better team. Definatley felt that they should have had a yellow card at some point but they looked like they would beat wales with 13 men.
    Wales lacked composure and cutting edge.
    I just cant stand watching anymore... but i will.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 14, 2010 4:39 pm  

  • i'd say the ref was reluctant to give ireland a card seeing as a lot of the penalties were a result of the bizarre new interpretation of the law..an interpretation which didn't seem to apply in any of the other games this weekend

    By Anonymous mark, at March 14, 2010 6:04 pm  

  • any chance of seeing the BOD tackle?
    Video is much appreciated

    By Anonymous Conor, at March 14, 2010 8:30 pm  

  • When the new interpretations were introduced I had a good laugh at Brusseuw being penalised the whole time, meaning his free reign from the Lions tour had ended, so I can't complain when Ireland got penalised every 10 seconds for doing likewise.

    However, what I do have a problem with is the fact these changes happened in the middle of the championship. I mean, thats completely retarted. So much for the IRB saying they were leaving all alone up to the WC.

    I'd much prefer if they concentrated on the time wasting scrum halves do at the back of rucks organising pods. If the ball is clean at the back of rucks then it should be called out. None of this kicking back into the ruck or forwards keeping it between their feet, therefore in. If a bouncing ball hits a player goes forward and a teammate collects he's penalised for offside, yet this happens at every single breakdown where the team in possession kick it back in.

    This is off topic but it killed me watching the games yesterday.

    On to the game. Wales are poor and never threatened. For a team that talks it's attack up, since '05, they've scored 2 tries against Ireland. '06 when Ire had already put 30 odd up and '08 when Williams scored against a very ordinary directionless Ire.

    France, Keith Earls, Stephen Ferris, Scotland's 3 B's and occasionally Williams have been the consistant light in this so far average championship.

    By Anonymous Huh!! the 3rd, at March 14, 2010 8:40 pm  

  • Oh, and does anyone else think Kearney was terrible when he came on? Ruined handful of chances. 1 lovely move doen the right on half way (possible 1st phase) where if it was Bowe or Earls instead they would've done severe damage.

    By Anonymous Huh!!! the 3rd, at March 14, 2010 8:46 pm  

  • 'i'd say the ref was reluctant to give ireland a card seeing as a lot of the penalties were a result of the bizarre new interpretation of the law..an interpretation which didn't seem to apply in any of the other games this weekend'

    Yeh id agree with that, but i suppose the 'statistics' dont show that, they just show penalty count...

    im not sure but i felt irelands was perhaps a little higher.....

    but i think he had a great day though (the ref) it was good to see consistency throughout.

    By Anonymous Guinness :), at March 14, 2010 8:47 pm  

  • 'If the ball is clean at the back of rucks then it should be called out. None of this kicking back into the ruck or forwards keeping it between their feet, therefore in.'

    Do you realise how messy it would make the game?!?!

    I agree concentrate on scrums, but that idea ^^^ is just plain daft.....imagine, the scrum half getting his backs to line up properly and looking at them, then the ref calls out....you'd have half a ton of forwards diving for that ball....not to mention if it is still in a forwards legs the amount of fights that will break out......

    it would eliminate box kicks, it would eliminate clean play....jeez do you work for the IRB or something.....

    anyway, not about you any more....

    I feel there should be no more rule adjustments or changes or anything....at the end of the day if you're in a sinking ship because it has a big hole in it, do you:

    a) pump out the water, then plug the hole
    b) plug the hole, then pump out the water....

    im hoping you chose b....dont change anything, i.e stop the water coming in...then fix the internal problems...pump water out....

    scrums are a state, feeding is ridiculous, hookers dont even hook these days....

    You look at BOD's technique, its great, flankers use it all the time, tackle and use momentum to get up....so this 'let go of the opposition, get up, then try again' rule is crazy.....

    but anyway, no problem with ireland being pinged for it because the ref was consistant...

    By Anonymous Jay, at March 14, 2010 11:14 pm  

  • Such a clinical, clinical performance. They seemed very comfortable in the game all through out

    By Anonymous hakametal, at March 14, 2010 11:46 pm  

  • Three tries in a six nations match, is that some sort of record?

    By Anonymous On the wing, at March 15, 2010 2:47 am  

  • 'On the wing said...
    Three tries in a six nations match, is that some sort of record?'

    Wow, funny f**ker arent you, go back to super 14 you troll!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 15, 2010 4:38 am  

  • hahahaha believe me i will never leave the super 14 or tri nations. They are comps for winners. Always attacking at the break down, going for the turn overs etc. Not waiting for the opposition to give away a penalty so they can take the easy three (i dare you to tell me that isn't what happens most of the time in the six nations)

    By Anonymous On the wing, at March 15, 2010 5:51 am  

  • "Always attacking at the break down, going for the turn overs"

    Always attacking, yes; always going for turn-overs, no. Just watched the Chiefs/Crusaders match. Wonderful game to watch, but there was almost never an attempt to counter-ruck. That doesn't mean it's like that in every S14 match. There is plenty of competition at the break down...sometimes. But because the way the game is played, there is fast ball and a lot of offloads, so you can't commit your defense into a ruck when the ball is just going to pop right out.

    The Super 14 is a beautiful competition to watch, for sure.

    Now, I'll go on and say that either you didn't watch this game and therefore your comment is just ignorance, or you did watch this game and you're just trying to stir up some shit.

    In any case, this was a better-looking Ireland side as far as this 6N has been. Glad to see the backs hungry for the ball this time around.

    By Anonymous 11, at March 15, 2010 7:21 am  

  • Have to agree with Huh! Introducing rule changes in the middle of a tournament is ridiculous. And it appeared that it was only this game not the french or scottish games.

    The irish are really going to have to change their game around when the IRB turn rugby union into a quasi rugby league for the world cup.

    Less players to rucks just means more defenders fanning out across the field.

    Nearly all the penalties against Ireland were under this new interpretation of the law. take wallace and o'driscoll's tackle on jamie roberts. Perfectly excecuted and yet pinged for not releasing the player. Wallace was deemed to have brought the man down and hence should have released his man before re-contesting for possessing.

    Soon there will be no contest at the breakdown and we'll have quasi rugby league.

    Better to enforce the offside rule. Its like refs have forgotten that there is an offside rule. teams like ireland and the all blacks live offside!

    Irish fan-Rant over.

    By Blogger robert, at March 15, 2010 10:50 am  

  • wales can only play with good ball, ireland were constantly offside and killing the ball, after 50 mins Keith wood was calling for yellow against ireland, after 70 mins the ref warned them for being offside and killing the play yet again but when they repeated this he didn't do anything, bottled it infront of the crowd.

    Wales were poor and ireland composed and played the ref very well, BOD and POC were constantly talking in the refs ear. but in my opinion the ref spoiled a game of rugby.

    By Anonymous jon, at March 15, 2010 11:08 am  

  • i agree, for example the second try, wales penalised for truck-and-trailer, ireland catch and drive from resulting line-out, goes backward then they use truck-and-trailer to create the overlap for o-leary, good run but should not have counted.

    By Anonymous mat, at March 15, 2010 11:11 am  

  • i saw that too, mat.
    also we all know the welsh line-out is poor but i think refs are looking to penalise us, line out called not straight, about one foot to welsh side over 15m throw.
    then from the scrum ireland put it in to the second row??

    By Anonymous mat, at March 15, 2010 11:13 am  

  • Oh give me a break mat. There were truck and trailers all over the place from every team this weekend (including Wales) that weren't penalised. Not to mention the referee chickening out of giving Byrne a second yellow. And he gave loads of penalties against Ireland for that stupid new tackle thing that nobody really understands. To say that the referee was unfair towards you is just pathetic.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 15, 2010 4:29 pm  

  • I don't think the "new interpretations" should really have much of an effect; after all, it is the law of the game. You have to release the player. What's so hard to understand?

    It doesn't mean you have to start playing like the Hurricanes and completely omit counter-rucking. It just means...dun dun dun....you have to release the player after the tackle. The next bunch of players after the tackler can come in and push over the ball and win it - nothing illegal in that.

    I highly doubt there were any more penalties last weekend after referees were told to give advantage to the attacking side than there would've been had they left well enough alone. Ireland DO kill the ball a lot. It's just how they play.

    All this from an Ireland fan, by the way.

    By Anonymous 11, at March 15, 2010 6:09 pm  

  • 11 i think a player of BOD's calibre has spent the last 10 years or so perfecting technique of bringing down a player, spinning over him and trying for posession.....now to be told you have to let go, push yourself up, then try for the ball, whilst running the risk of potentially get smashed by some lumbering props....really makes that law confusing....

    I am sick of rule changes....why cant they just sort stuff out, why new laws? why why why?!?!? :(

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 15, 2010 10:35 pm  

  • Jay

    Completely get your point, I was just venting my fustration at slow play at the breakdown (thankfully I'm not an English fan or I might have ripped my hair out by now).

    Robert, there were some penalties in the other games for not releasing, but the problem is Ire, along with France, compete more at the breakdown and live on turnovers to create scores. I'm just thinking of Munster's epic win in Perpignan which may not have happened under these interpretations.

    By Anonymous Huh!! the 3rd, at March 15, 2010 11:25 pm  

  • oh...ok, fair enough...

    By Anonymous Jay, at March 16, 2010 1:45 pm  

  • Lee Byrne is a brilliant player but that was IDIOT!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 16, 2010 4:05 pm  

  • The law that ruined rugby was the protection of opposition on wrong side at the breakdown. Fearing the shoeing made you roll away a lot more than the thought you "might" give away a penalty. Not stamping, just good old fashioned rucking

    By Anonymous Matthew, at March 16, 2010 11:04 pm  

  • Thats what happens if you have pint-sized wingers that can't tackle. O'Leary and Earls walked over the derisory cross-cover from the Welsh dwarf wings.

    Williams might have the "twinkletoes" but he is useless on defence and under high ball. The worlds best winger he is not, never mind having being the world's best player.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 17, 2010 9:51 am  

  • With the greatest f respect to Wales. They were very poor in this game and ireland didn't really put it away like they could've. Worrying for ireland is that when they play the All Blacks in the summer they're not going get nearly as many opportunities from turnover ball and limited possession!

    On the law subject Gerry Thornley wrote a decent article on it in the Irish times on tuesday. Basically saying that the new emphasis on the law has been invoked at a very difficult time for NH teams. Thats not a dig at the SH by the way.

    By Anonymous Third Centre, at March 18, 2010 1:32 am  

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